Robert Half reveals the happiest countries for workers

Robert Half research has found Australia ranks fourth in an international study of employee happiness. Read more here. 

  • Two-thirds of employees surveyed in North America, Europe and Australia are generally happy in their jobs.
  • Employees in the United States, Germany and the Netherlands rank highest in terms of on-the-job happiness.   
  • The most tenured employees are found in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Australia ranks fourth in an international study of employee happiness, according to research released by global recruitment consultancy Robert Half. The results are published in a new report, It’s Time We All Work Happy®. The Secrets of the Happiest Companies and Employees

For the study, Robert Half worked with leading happiness and wellbeing expert Nic Marks of Happiness Works. Marks’ team evaluated the levels of employee happiness among more than 23,000 working professionals across Europe, North America and Australia. 

The report shows the United States, Germany and the Netherlands have the happiest employees among the countries included in the research, ranking 71.8, 71.2 and 69.9, respectively, on a scale of 0-100, with 100 being the happiest. The countries studied with the lowest levels of employee happiness are France (63.8), Belgium (65.2) and the United Kingdom (67.2). 

Employee happiness by country
(Scores are based on an index from 0 to 100, where 0 is the worst possible outcome and 100 the most favourable.)

Country Happiness ranking
Average 68.1
United States 71.8
Germany 71.2
Netherlands 69.9
Australia 67.9
Canada 67.8
United Kingdom 67.2
Belgium 65.2
France 63.8

The research shows the top drivers of employee happiness vary by country. In Australia the highest-ranking factors are being treated with fairness and respect, having a sense of pride in their organisation and achieving a sense of accomplishment from their work.

“Employee happiness is closely connected to organisational productivity and innovation. Happy employees are typically more engaged and driven to succeed, creating a positive and high performing work environment,” explained David Jones, Senior Managing Director at Robert Half Asia Pacific. “By taking the time to offer feedback and show sincere signs of appreciation, employers can increase employee engagement and satisfaction, leading to higher levels of happiness in the workplace.”
Employee stress levels and interest by country
The research also examined how average stress and interest levels at work vary across geographies. Among employees surveyed, Germans rate the level of interest they have in their work highest, followed by Dutch and Americans. Professionals in the Netherlands report the least stress on the job, with Australians ranking second and the United Kingdom coming in third. 

Employee interest and stress level by country

Ranking Level of interest in work Low stress level
1 Germany Netherlands
2 Netherlands Australia
3 United States United Kingdom
4 Belgium United States
5 France Belgium
6 Canada Canada
7 United Kingdom France
8 Australia Germany


About the research
This study was developed by Robert Half and Happiness Works and conducted by an independent research firm. The research is based on survey results of more than 23,000 working professionals who are currently employed on a full or part-time basis across eight countries with the results segmented by geographic location. 


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]